Friday, 19 February 2010
Posted by Rob Voodoo
I am currently holed up in the idyllic town of Santa Theresa on the Southwestern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, staying at a sprawling hostel called Funky Monkey. The owners describe it as being situated within a private jungle; this is barely an exaggeration. Monkeys, lizards and scorpions (small and not poisonous) roam amongst the carefully maintained wilderness garden.
Aside from the shared accommodation it very much reminds me of some of the places I have stayed at in Kenya: fantastic wooden architecture, gravel paths winding between the shrub-shrouded dormitory buildings. The bar is run by an extremely skilled chef called Rafa (Rafael) who on one night might cook traditional French cuisine and another Sushi. His gourmet cheeseburger is not to be sniffed at either. It has bacon and avocado in it. 'Nuff said.
All of the staff here are lovely, and the whole package is tarnished only by the moody owners who treat staff and patrons alike with a healthy dose of money grabbing contempt - something which, I happen to know, is about to cost them the vast majority of their friendly, intelligent and hard working staff. In fact as I sit here working on this text the managers are having a discussion with their key staff at the other end of the bar. It’s a discussion of the ‘full and frank’ persuasion.
Back to Funky Monkey: They have a private swimming pool, and if you are a surfer the nearby beach has some of the best medium sized waves in the world - meaning that almost everyone in town is a bronzed slab of classically Herculean proportions. Still, I console myself that barely one of them is a DJ or can fix a computer so there would still be a role for me to play if I were to consider moving here (which I'm not). The main club here in Santa Theresa sucks by the way, it's run by another money grabbing skeleton of a woman who refused to even listen to my demo after I twice walked a mile and a half, the second time with my laptop, to ply my wares.
I have spent the last two hours with a temporary office set up here in the bar trying to plan a route round some national parks/wildlife reserves for my last 11 days in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, all though they are all trying to be helpful, I have had around a dozen solid suggestions for my next destination this morning and am no closer to finalising an itinerary and booking some more accommodation. I have learned to spell accommodation though!
You may be pleased to know that, being marijuana free for a fortnight now, socialising has been relatively easy. My brain, though impeded by the odd beer or three and the intense midday heat has recovered somewhat and hopefully my IQ has crept back over 100. I was still disastrously beaten at chess by an American; though he was a high-level website engineer it still hurt, I despise losing at chess.
I have made friends with the Argentinian and Costa Rican staff here, as well as some lovely Swedes and an English lady called Jackie who has very similar background to me - and, rather synchronistically, a son called Robin. So I've had company when I want it, and when I don't it's easy to find a quiet spot by the pool or in the dorm for a bit of reading or an episode of Top Gear, to which I have become hopelessly addicted.
Tonight is one of the crews birthday so we are going to the beach for a Latin music party - which may well involve a lot of sexy dancing and a headache in the morning. What a hard life.